Power to the People offers a thin definition of constitutionalism that people from the progressive left to the conservative right should be able to agree on even if they would supplement the thin definition within other more partisan ideas. This is followed by a similarly basic definition of populism. Comparing the two, this book argues that one facet of populism -its suspicion of institutions that are strongly entrenched against change by political majorities-is sometimes inconsistent with constitutionalism.
The book provides a series of case studies, some organized by nation, others by topic, to identify, more precisely, when and how populist programs are inconsistent with constitutionalism-and, importantly, when and how they are not. Concluding with a discussion of the possibilities for a deeper, populist democracy, the book examines recent challenges to the idea that democracy is a good form of government by exploring possibilities for new, albeit revisable, institutions that can determine and implement a majority's views without always threatening constitutionalism.
Law is fast globalizing as a field, and many lawyers, judges and political leaders are engaged in a process of comparative “borrowing”. But this new form of legal globalization has dark sides: it is not just a source of inspiration for those seeking to strengthen and improve democratic institutions and policies. It is increasingly an inspiration – and legitimation device – for those seeking to erode democracy by stealth, under the guise of a form of faux liberal democratic cover. Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: Legal globalization and the subversion of liberal democracy outlines this phenomenon, how it succeeds, and what we can do to prevent it. This book address current patterns of democratic retrenchment and explores its multiple variants and technologies, considering the role of legitimating ideologies that help support different modes of abusive constitutionalism.